Cavatappi and Meatball Bake with Mozzarella Bruschetta

So I am on a roll in the kitchen cooking up a storm and loving it! I think I just needed a break for a bit to realize how much I missed it.

Tonight I did not have carpool duty, so I decided early on to make a pasta bake for dinner. I wasn’t sure what meat I was going to use, but I knew it couldn’t be “fake meat” because my husband does not care of it. When I got to the grocery store, I saw that meatballs were on sale, so I decided to make a meatball pasta dish. I settled on Cavatappi, which is the pasta shaped like corkscrews.

It was super easy to throw together. I cooked the pasta 2 minutes less than the package said, while I cooked the frozen meatballs in the jarred sauce. Then I added the pasta to the sauce and meatballs.

I covered the entire dish with mozzarella cheese and baked until the cheese melted and had some pretty brown bubbly spots, about 30 minutes.

A huge pan of pasta means leftovers!!!

I also made these delicious Mozzarella Bruchetta…

I grated a clove of garlic in a heaping tablespoon of butter to make garlic butter. Then I sliced an Italian loaf of bread in medium sized pieces and slathered on the butter and topped with a slice of fresh mozzarella. I put that in the oven on the second rack halfway through the pasta baking. It about 10 minutes to melt the cheese and toast the bread. Keep an eye on them. You don’t want to smoke out your kitchen!

I chopped up 2 tomatoes, some fresh basil, and mixed it with a tablespoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of balsamic glaze with a bit of salt and pepper. Topped the cheese toast with the tomato mixture and topped with more balsamic drizzle and basil. I honestly ate 4 pieces and really wasn’t hungry for the pasta, even though I still had a few bites. I could eat this everyday forever and ever…

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